My answer typically involves an explanation of some basics about rotator cuff tears:
Rotator cuff tears can be tricky. And unfortunately not all rotator cuff repairs are fool proof. Older studies showed that rotator cuff repairs failed to heal in up to 3/4 of attempts in some patients.
Newer studies tend to show more favorable results but on average still report at least a 1/4 chance of retiring of the rotator cuff repair.
A recent study in the Journal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery compared outcomes of patients who had rotator cuff surgery based on how faithful they were with wearing their sling.
This is one of the most frequent questions that I get from patients. And it’s not an easy one to answer.
Recently a team at The Hospital for Joint Diseases led by one of my shoulder fellowship mentors Dr. Laith Jazrawi produced a study that makes some recommendations about safe driving after labrum and rotator cuff repair surgery. Continue reading
No doubt about it, rotator cuff tears can be confusing. It’s not that you can’t understand the idea of having a tear in your tendon. That’s easy.
It’s just that treating them can be counterintutive: some get better with therapy and others don’t. Some cause significant pain and others don’t. Some need surgery and others don’t. Continue reading
As a shoulder and elbow surgeon a lot of operations that I perform involve implanting hardware to help solve someone’s problem. Examples of hardware include plates and screws, joint replacement implants and arthroscopic anchors.
When someone asks whether hardware needs to be removed in the future they usually are referring to plates and screws that help hold fractures together. Continue reading